HLG - Weekly Newsletter – 21.08.2017

Aug 21,2017





  1. Frederick Obura, “Kenya’s Immigration Department to Abolish Current Passports in 2019”, The Standard, August 17, 2017
  • Immigration department will roll out secure epassports next month paving way for the phasing out of current passports by August 2019. In March, Immigration Services Maj Gen Gordon Kihalangwa said the rollout is set for September 1, this year.
  • To get the ePassport, applicants will be required to apply for a replacement passport and then return their current passports. The new passport will cost the same as the current passport according to the Immigration Department.
  • The move is an East African initiative and ePassports will also be rolled out in the other EA countries simultaneously.


South Africa


  1. South Africa to Import Skilled Immigrants”, South Africa Broadcasting Corp. August 14, 2017
  • Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize says South Africa needs to attract highly skilled and professional immigrants to grow the economy. Mkhize briefed the media in Pretoria following a meeting with her Canadian counterpart Minister Ahmed Hussen.
  • Ahmed Hussen, Canada's Minister of Immigration, refugees and citizenship says: “Canadians understand the value of immigration, immigrants to Canada create jobs, they don't take jobs from the locals. We value the role that immigration plays in a country like Canada with an aging population and a low birth rate, we value how immigrants bring skills.”




Antigua & Barbuda


  1. Cabinet Reduces Processing Fees for CIP”, The Antigua Observer, August 18, 2017
  • In an exclusive interview with OBSERVER media, CEO Charmaine Donovan said, based on the recommendation from the CIU, the Cabinet decided to reduce the processing fees in an effort to increase the competitiveness of Antigua and Barbuda’s CIP. She said reductions in “processing fees are from US $50, 000 to US $25, 000 for the National Development Fund (NDF) option, up to a family of four and any incremental addition to that family is US$15, 000 per person.”
  • The processing fee for the real estate and business investment option for a family of four has been lowered to US$50, 000, and similar to the NDF option each incremental addition to that family is US $15, 000.
  • The investment amount for the NDF option is still US $200,000, the real estate remains at US $400,00 and the business investment is US $1.5 million for one person but if it’s more than one person it’s US $5 million.
  • It was that comparison between the local programme and others in the region which prompted the unit to make the changes which took effect on August 1.


Cayman Islands


  1. Brent Fuller, “Caymanian Status Troubles Affect Permanent Residence Applicants”, Cayman Compass, August 15, 2017
  • According to local attorneys helping permanent residenceseekers with their applications, a number of those individuals want to earn points toward residence by stating they trained Caymanians on the job or in their off-hours at various tasks. In order to earn points for that training, the permanent residency seeker must prove the person they have trained is a Caymanian.
  • “There is … an ongoing problem, and this will continue, about providing evidence that a person is Caymanian,” said HSM attorney Alastair David. “Unless you have been acknowledged [as Caymanian] or you have a Cayman Status Certificate, it is actually quite onerous to provide information that you are Caymanian.”
  • Mr. David said the Caymanian Status and Permanent Residency Board has recently started sending out letters to residence applicants, informing them of what is required to prove training claims.




  1. Al Woods, “How Grenada Became a Beacon of Caribbean Tourism”, Flux Magazine, August 14, 2017
  • Grenada is an emerging economy and its Government recognises that tourism is the key to continued development. But to leverage tourism, it’s important to have the infrastructure in place to support it. One way Grenada has been able to do this is through its Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme.
  • As demand grows, airlines are increasing the number of trips to the island. American Airlines, for example, is set to launch new departure and arrival times for its daily scheduled flight between Grenada and Miami.
  • Tourists are not just flocking to Grenada by the sky, but by sea too. Grenada saw a 12.2% rise in cruise visitors in 2016. All this means that the number of real estate projects aimed at the tourism industry will continue to increase. Patricia Maher, CEO of Grenada’s Tourism Authority (GTA), said: “We are going to grow out hotel room stock by 26% in the next two to three years.”


St. Lucia


  1. Sarah Peter, “Venezuela’s Ally St. Lucia Mulls Ending Visa-Free Entry for Venezuelans”, Reuters, August 17, 2017
  • The prime minister of the small Caribbean country of St. Lucia has asked the immigration ministry to weigh imposing visa requirements on visitors from Venezuela, in a show of protest against an ally that has been its key energy benefactor.
  • St. Lucia's links with Petrocaribe have provided it with a regular, discounted supply of petroleum products from Venezuela, but it has not received any crude this year, according to Venezuelan stateowned oil company PDVSA's internal trade reports. [St. Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen] Chastanet also criticized the Maduro government for not respecting the rule of law, adding that the chaotic situation in Venezuela poses a security threat for the region.


United States


  1. Neil G. Ruiz & Jens Manuel Krogstad, “Salaries Have Risen for High-Skilled Foreign Workers in U.S. on H-1B Visas”, Pew Research Center, August 16, 2017
  • U.S. employers planned to pay highskilled foreign workers with H-1B visas a median salary of $80,000 a year in fiscal year 2016, up from about $69,000 a decade earlier, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data.
  • The 2016 median salary reported for H1B visa applicants was higher than the median salary paid to some U.S. workers in similar high-skill occupations.
  • The USCIS data show that overall demand for H1B visas has increased sharply over the past decade. The number of total H-1B visa applications filed by employers on behalf of foreign workers increased from 246,126 in fiscal 2009 to 399,349 in 2016, and is on pace to reach a new high in 2017.


  1. Gene T. Schaeffer Jr., “USCIS Releases New I-9 Form, New Version Must Be Used by Sept. 18, 2017”, The National Law Review, August 16, 2017
  • USCIS recently released a new revised version of the Form I9. Employers must use this new version, with a revision date of 07/17/17 N, by September 18, 2017. Until then, employers may use the old version, with a revision date of 11/14/16 N.
  • USCIS made some minor changes to the Form I9 instructions and to the List of Acceptable Documents (for List C documents).


  1. Rebecca B. Schechter, “Global Entry Now ‘Trusts’ Certain Travelers from Colombia, Singapore, and Switzerland”, The National Law Review, August 18, 2017
  • Citizens of Colombia, Singapore, and Switzerland may now apply for Global Entry, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “trusted traveler” program that provides expedited entry through U.S. immigration inspection via automatic kiosks at select airports.
  • Colombia, Singapore, and Switzerland join India, the United Kingdom, Germany, Panama, South Korea, and Mexico as countries that have arrangements with CBP regarding international trusted traveler programs, thus allowing their citizens to apply for Global Entry. Canadian citizens who are members of the Canadian trusted traveler program, NEXUS, are also eligible for Global Entry.






  1. Japan Implements New One-Year Permanent Residence Pathway”, Relocate Global, August 15, 2017
  • Effective immediately, the Japanese immigration authorities have implemented new guidelines for permanent residency applications for foreign nationals, including shorter qualifying residence periods for certain applicants.
  • A part of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Strategy for Revitalization, applicants for permanent residence who score over 80 points on the Immigration Bureau of Japan’s (IBJ) pointsbased system for Highly Skilled Foreign Professionals are eligible for permanent residency after only one year of temporary residency, rather than five years as previously. Applicants scoring over 70 points on the scale are eligible for permanent residency after just three years.
  • This expedited, pointsbased route to permanent residency is only available to work visa holders, but it is not necessary for applicants to have a “highly skilled professional” work visa in order to apply under the new regulations. Any accompanying dependent family members will still have to fulfill the required longer temporary residence period of up to ten years in order to qualify.



  1. Peter Alagos, “Ministry to Launch New E-System for Work Permits”, Gulf Times, August 13, 2017
  • The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) will soon launch a new electronic system for work permits, it was announced during a seminar held at Qatar Chamber. [MADLSA’s Recruitment Mananger Fawaz] AlRayes said the new system, which will be launched “in the coming weeks,” will provide all the needs of business owners such as job positions, labour requirements, and nationalities, among others.
  • [Qatar Chamber Director Saleh Hamad alSharqi] said Qatar Chamber will hold another meeting before launching the system. He added that the services provided by the new electronic visa system “are either free or with a convenient price, in line with the services provided by some ministries and government agencies.”



  1. Turkey Proposes Visa-Free Regime With Kazakhstan for Migrant Workers”, The Astana Times, August 17, 2017
  • Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci proposed during the recent KazakhTurkish business forum a visa-free regime for migrant workers between Turkey and Kazakhstan, Astana TV channel reports.
  • “We have to remove all obstacles and barriers for our cooperation. Although we have a visafree regime between our countries, it seems to me that we need to give a visa-free regime to our workforce as well. So that our workforce can act freely in both countries,” said the Turkish minister.




  1. Elaine Hou, “Taiwan Expands Travel Privileges for Japanese Visitors”, Focus Taiwan, August 15, 2017
  • Under the new initiative, which took effect Tuesday, Japanese citizens can visit Taiwan as long as they have a valid passport that remains valid during their stay in Taiwan, said Winston Chung, deputy directorgeneral of the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
  • Japan has allowed Taiwanese citizens to visit Japan with only a valid passport, Chung said, but Taiwan had required Japanese visitors to present a passport with at least three months of validity to enter Taiwan without a visa.
  • At present, Japanese and Taiwanese travelers can visit each other's country without a visa and stay for up to 90 days, and that will not change under the new passport measure.




  1. Teeranai Charuvastra, “10-year Visas Now Available: Thai Immigration”, Khao Sod, August 16, 2017
  • The much awaited 10year visa for foreign retirees is now available, the top commander of the immigration police said Wednesday […]. Lt. Gen. Natthathorn Prohsunthorn said the new visa will come in two installments of five years each. It can be issued for foreigners from 14 countries who meet set conditions, such as having three million baht in bank account.
  • “It is now effective,” Natthathorn said by phone. “Foreigners can apply for it at their provincial immigration offices. For Bangkok and neighboring provinces, it’s at Chaeng Wattana.” Natthathorn said a memo was already sent out to staff at the Chaeng Wattana location, but some officials might not have read it. He advised potential applicants to push ahead with the application anyway.


  1. Sasiwan Mokkhasen, “4-Year Professional Visas Get Green Light”, Khao Sod, August 18, 2018
  • A plan to offer fouryear visas to highly skilled professionals and investors was endorsed Friday by the Cabinet. Those who obtain the so-called “Smart Visa” can stay in Thailand with their spouse and children for up to four years without applying for a work permit. Unlike other visa holders who have to report to the authorities every 90 days, they would only need to present themselves to the Immigration Bureau annually, according to information published online by an agency promoting the prime minister’s agenda.
  • To be eligible, applicants must be investors, startup entrepreneurs, highlevel executives or highly skilled professionals. More details will soon be released online by the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, according to Director Ampon Kittiampon.




United Kingdom


  1. Ashley Cowburn, “Brexit: UK Plans to Keep Visa-Free Travel for EU Nationals”, The Independent, August 17, 2017
  • European nationals will still be able to pass freely without passport checks between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland after the UK’s departure from the EU, under new Government plans. It comes after officials published the second Brexit negotiating position paper on the contentious issue of the Irish border, which includes preserving the Common Travel Area between the two countries.
  • In practice it will mean there will be no passport checks, no CCTV cameras, and no checkpoints at the 300mile border for EU nationals – despite repeated promises of “taking back control” of the UK’s borders after Brexit during the referendum campaign last year.


  1. Adam Becket, “Australia Demands Equal Immigration Rights to EU Citizens After Brexit”, Business Insider UK, August 18, 2017
  • Julie Bishop, the Australian foreign minister told the Times newspaper that her colleagues in government would be disappointed if the UK put more restrictive immigration conditions on Australian citizens than on those expected to be placed on arrivals from the European Union. Fellow Commonwealth members Canada and New Zealand reportedly share Bishop's concerns and would broach the issue at free trade talks following the UK's exit from the EU.
  • Currently, Australians coming to Britain for work have to obtain a tiertwo visa which allows them to stay for up to five years. They are only eligible for one if they have already been offered a skilled job and can prove that they are sponsored by their employer, while they must also have a minimum of £945 in savings and usually have to earn over £25,000 a year.


  1. Rob Young, “UK Tourism Sector Booms As Sterling Falls”, BBC News, August 18, 2017
  • The weaker value of the pound since the Brexit referendum vote means that the UK is now a much cheaper destination than it used to be. Many mainland Europeans, Americans and Chinese people are taking advantage of that.
  • The latest data from Forward Keys, which monitors flight bookings, suggests international arrivals to the UK will be 9% higher for August to October this year compared to the same period of 2016. Bookings from China are up 20%, and those from the US are 23% higher, the data suggest.






  1. Australia Still Number One for Chinese Investors”, The Urban Developer, August 18, 2017
  • Australia currently holds the number one position for Chinese investors though the USA is expected to overtake this year.
  • Chinese investors showed undiminished interest in foreign property throughout 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. They were attracted by favourable conditions in gateway cities around the world and driven by their continued strong motivation for diversifying wealth into assets outside of China.
  • Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane account for around 90% of all off the plan purchases, with the Gold Coast, Adelaide and Perth representing much smaller markets.


New Zealand


  1. Immigration and Tourism Hit New Records”, Radio New Zealand, August 21, 2017
  • Immigration hit another annual record with a net 72,400 people coming to live in New Zealand in the year to July. A strong economy and demand for skilled workers are influences in bringing new people into the country, as well as in New Zealanders returning home.
  • Statistics New Zealand population statistics manager Peter Dolan said most migrants arrived in the country on shortterm work and student visas. Arrivals numbered 132,100, which was also an annual record, and there were 59,700 departures. The biggest increases were from the United Kingdom (up 2400) and South Africa (up 1600). The largest decrease in net migration in the July 2017 year was from India (down 3900 to 7400), due to a decrease in student migrant arrivals.


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